Date:Thursday July 20 2006
Not that long ago Doncaster Rovers were happy to get 3000 fans, and 3 points against Conference rivals, aiming for the promised land of the Football League.
Today, with the move to an all seater 15,000 capacity stadium within touching distance, the new season about to start and promotion to the Championship as the aim, life is very different for the South Yorkshire club.
Chairman John Ryan has revealed that the wage bill at Rovers now tops three million, despite moving on several players including high earners Michael McIndoe and Phil McGuire.
In a world where football is one of many weekend attractions, Chairman up and down the country feel the need to get the best, whatever the cost. Big name signings not only inflate the ego, but bring fans through the turnstiles.
Can Rovers compete? Ryan seems to think so and wants to throw money at players to get them to sign, in the hope they bring glory and reward to the Belle Vue club. On paper it should work, names like Shaun Thornton and Bruce Dyer should be 'ratings winners'. But at what cost?
A wage bill of three million pounds in League One, on the average Rovers gate is not good business. However, John Ryan seems happy to keep bank rolling the Club, in the hope of promotion. An increase in attendances when the Rovers move to the new stadium should help, but its still risky business in this day and age.
Rovers fans hope that John Ryan is not like most Chairman, who are all to keen to play at being managers, signing players they want, not those who would be good for the team, and ultimately, leave the club saddled with debt when it all goes wrong.
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